Education

Your Guide to Teacher Certification Exams in Every State

It takes a lot of work to become a teacher. In addition to training, studying, and student teaching, in many cases you also have to pass teacher certification exams. Every single U.S. state requires exams of some sort, but each one is very different. Looking for study help for your certification exams? Check out 240 Tutoring for exam prep by state.

Whether you are studying for the Praxis, NES or a state-required exam, take a look at this list to get an idea of the tests you may need to take to earn your certificate or license by state.

Teacher Certification Exam Overview

Here are a few notes on teacher tests in general:

  • If you’re earning your initial teaching license or certificate through your college training program, good news! They’ll tell you which tests you need to take and may help you arrange for them.
  • While most new teachers earn their licenses through college teacher training programs, many states offer alternative routes. In most cases, required tests remain the same, but this can vary by state.
  • If you’re moving from one state to another and need a new license, you may or may not need to take teacher certification exams. Use the state-level links on this page to find more information.
  • Many states use at least some nationally standardized tests, usually from organizations like ETS Praxis or Pearson NES. You’ll find more info about those tests on the companies’ websites, linked here for your convenience.
  • Some states offer endorsements on licenses or certificates, which can require additional tests. Not all of those tests may be listed here, so be sure to check with the state if you have questions.
  • Some states require tests for substitute teachers and teachers’ aides, which aren’t listed here. Check with your state for requirements.

And finally: States are constantly changing, revising, and updating their testing requirements. This information is accurate as of summer 2022 but can change at any time. So always verify the tests you’ll need to take before signing up. And now, on to the testing requirements by state!

In Alabama, teachers take two types of exams:

Alaska requires two types of tests for teacher certification:

In Arizona, there are three areas in which teachers must prove their proficiency, known as the Arizona Educator Proficiency Assessments:

Arkansas exam requirements depend on the age and subject(s) you plan to teach.

California administers its own set of teacher certification exams (note that Praxis II exams are no longer accepted, with the exception of Speech-Language Pathology). Required tests vary by age and subject and include:

In Colorado, you can bypass testing by completing approved college programs in many cases. Some endorsements do require Praxis content knowledge tests. Learn more here.

Connecticut requires content knowledge exams, offered by Praxis and Pearson.

In Delaware, you’ll need to pass content knowledge exams.

Florida uses its own teacher certification exams program, known as FTCE (Florida Teacher Certification Examinations). There are three types of tests all teachers need to pass:

  • General Knowledge Test: This four-part test measures your basic reading, writing, and math skills. It includes multiple-choice questions and an essay.
  • Professional Education Test: The pedagogy and professional skills test is comprised of approximately 100 multiple-choice questions.
  • Subject Area Examinations: Subject area examinations may be multiple-choice only or might include written and oral sections, depending on the subject and age. Some tests have several subtests.

Your Guide to Teacher Certification Exams in Every State

Georgia has developed its own teaching testing program, GACE (Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators). Tests include:

  • Program Admission: This basic skills test of reading, writing, and math is required to enter a teacher-training program in Georgia. Other test scores like the SAT and ACT may exempt you from taking this exam. Check with your teacher-training program for more info.
  • Content Examinations: These test your knowledge of subject matter and teaching skills. Different tests are required based on the age and subject(s) you plan to teach. See the full list here.
  • Georgia Ethics Assessment: This assessment includes built-in training modules with assessments throughout. It’s required for all teachers.

Most Hawaii teacher exams are offered through ETS Praxis. Here’s what the state requires:

Idaho requires the appropriate Praxis Content Knowledge tests for the area and subject(s) you plan to teach. Some tests have multiple subtests built in. Learn more about Idaho’s required Praxis tests here.

In Illinois, you need to pass two types of teacher certification exams.

Indiana transitioned to Praxis Subject Area tests as of September 1, 2021. These verify your knowledge of subject matter and teaching skills for the ages and subject(s) you’ll be teaching. Learn more about the Indiana Praxis Subject Area Tests here.

In Iowa, if you complete a state approved teacher prep program, exams are not required. You’ll be granted your initial teaching license after completing the program and meeting state requirements.

If moving to the state of Iowa, teachers need to show proof of completing an accredited out-of-state program including transcript review. Learn more here.

Kansas requires two types of teaching certification tests:

Kentucky has several teacher testing requirements:

Louisiana requires the following teacher exams:

Your Guide to Teacher Certification Exams in Every State

Maine has three required teacher tests:

Maryland has several teacher testing requirements:

The Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL) program oversees teacher testing in the state. They are currently trying a pilot program of alternative assessments, so you may have a variety of options to meet each testing requirement. Be sure to visit Massachusetts’ Department of Education website to find the latest information. Here’s an overview of the current test requirements:

You’ll need to pass the appropriate MTTC (Michigan Test for Teacher Certification) content exams. These Pearson tests vary based on the ages and subject(s) you’ll be teaching. Learn more here.

The Minnesota Teacher Licensure Examinations (MTLE) cover several areas. The state has a tiered licensing system, with varying tests required at each tier.

Mississippi has multiple testing requirements:

Missouri has its own set of teacher certification exams called MEGA (Missouri Educator Gateway Assessments), administered by Pearson. They include:

Montana requires the Praxis Content Knowledge tests appropriate to the ages and subject(s) you’ll be teaching. Learn more about the required Praxis tests here.

Nebraska uses Praxis testing for teacher certification. These tests include:

Nevada uses Praxis exams, including:

New Hampshire’s teacher testing requirements include:

New Jersey uses Praxis testing for teacher certification. These tests include:

New Mexico is in the process of changing its testing requirements.

  • Praxis PLT and Content Exams: Those graduating from a New Mexico approved teacher prep program in 2022 and 2023 must still take the appropriate Principles of Learning and Teaching and content exams by age and subject. Beginning in spring 2024, only out-of-state applicants will be required to take these exams.
  • Praxis Teaching Reading: Elementary Exam: Per state statute, all Elementary Education candidates will continue to take this exam, now and in the future.

As of April 27, 2022, New York eliminated the edTPA testing requirement for all applicants. However, they still require these teacher tests:

North Carolina uses Pearson and Praxis tests for teacher certification.

North Dakota uses Praxis exams for teacher licensure:

Your Guide to Teacher Certification Exams in Every State

In Ohio, these are the testing requirements:

Oklahoma is in the middle of revising many of its test requirements. The state eliminated the OGET (Oklahoma General Education Test) as of May 6, 2022. However, it still requires these tests:

In Oregon, there are several types of testing requirements:

Here are Pennsylvania’s teacher certification exam requirements:

Rhode Island uses Praxis tests for teacher certification. These tests include pedagogy and content knowledge assessment. See Rhode Island’s testing requirements here.

South Carolina teacher tests include:

South Dakota uses these tests:

Tennessee uses the following tests:

Teacher certification exams in Texas include:

Your Guide to Teacher Certification Exams in Every State

Utah requires two types of tests:

Vermont requires the following tests:

In Virginia, testing requirements include:

Washington requires two types of teacher assessments:

West Virginia uses Praxis tests for teacher licensing:

Wisconsin teacher certification exams include:

Wyoming has only these requirements:

Teacher Certification Exam Prep

Most teacher tests come with hefty fees, so you’ll want to pass them the first time and avoid paying extra for retakes. If you’re looking for a resource to help you prep, check out 240 Tutoring. They’ve got study guides for many of the tests on this list, all included in one monthly subscription. You can take a diagnostic test, review content, use flash cards, try practice quizzes, and more. 240 Tutoring also offers general help on topics like writing strong answers to constructed response questions (CRQs).

240 Tutoring has helped more than 115,000 teachers pass their exams, especially Praxis, FTCE, TExES, and CTC tests. Reviewers agree: 240 Tutoring is how smart teachers pass their exams!

Looking for a place to ask more questions about teacher certification exams and other new-teacher topics? Join the WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook!

Plus, check out 15 Philosophy of Education Examples for Job-Hunting Teachers.


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